Beamish – hands-on history.
Award-winning Beamish, The Living Museum of the North is the North East’s most popular museum and paid-for visitor attraction. The museum uses its collections to tell the story of everyday life in the North East through time. History is brought to life by costumed staff and volunteers.
Visitors to the 350 acre open air museum site explore a town, village and buildings from the 1820s and early 20th century. Many of the buildings have been moved from across the region and the museum’s collections focus on rural life, social history, transport and engineering/industry.
Beamish has been awarded a £10.9million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the Remaking Beamish project. The funding is a major milestone in Beamish’s history and it will help the museum create a range of new ways for people to experience the heritage of the North East. It is the largest single investment ever seen at Beamish.
The centrepiece will be a reconstructed 1950s Town, including cinema, shops, houses and cafe, and additions to the Georgian area, including a coaching inn where visitors can stay overnight. The £18million scheme will begin later this year and will take around four years to be completed.
Beamish welcomed a record-breaking 750,406 visitors in 2016/17 and has seen visitor numbers more than double over the past eight years. The museum has about 420 staff and 500 volunteers.
Beamish was named Large Visitor Attraction of the Year at the North East England Tourism Awards in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
The Auckland Project, based in Bishop Auckland, is working with the community and other key partners to help raise aspirations and create opportunities through arts, heritage and a culture of learning.
As part of this long-term ambition, the charity* is developing a visitor destination of international significance, including a Spanish Art Gallery, Deer Park, Walled Garden, landmark Auckland Tower welcome centre, Faith Museum and restored Auckland Castle, once home to the Prince Bishops of Durham.
The first of these new attractions, The Mining Art Gallery, will open in Bishop Auckland on October 21, 2017, with the others launching in stages over the next three years.
The Auckland Project’s dedicated Engagement Team is also working closely with schools and community groups to deliver a range of life changing programmes for all ages, designed to increase educational attainment, enhance employability, boost community spirit and improve health and wellbeing for current and future generations.
By 2020 the charity aims to create 8,000 opportunities for learning and skills development, including 60 apprenticeships.
To date, more than £130m has been committed to the Project, including £11.4m thanks to National Lottery players via the Heritage Lottery Fund.
For more information please visit aucklandproject.org
*From the end of September 2017, Auckland Castle Trust will be known as The Auckland Project